BIRTH & BABY: Planning the nursery

There’s an old saying that in life, all good things come in threes. In other words, the big life events such as having a baby, moving home and job changes usually tend to happen at the same time. Well, that’s exactly what happened to our little family.

My husband and I had initially planned to move before our baby was born, but after discussions with our estate agent, not to mention a hold-up in our property chain, it meant that we were a couple of weeks late in signing all of the important documents.

It also meant that my husband had just finished his paternity leave and doing anything was a whole lot harder in the post-forceps-delivery haze and chaos.

I’d been told to take it easy by my midwife. I must rest, not get stressed and avoid lifting anything heavy. That was easier said than done. I found myself marching along to the solicitors’ office in the pouring rain, clutching my bundle of joy in one arm and a pile of important papers under the other. My heart was beating like crazy, my back hurt, my legs hurt, even my womb hurt.

You see we got the green light on our property move two weeks after Cyrus was born, so nursing and napping wasn’t on my agenda. We had only a day to pack up our old house and move to a newer home that fit our budget and our space and location requirements better.

Now research shows that the nesting instinct peaks in the third trimester and therefore my brain was telling me that I needed a nursery for my new arrival long before we actually moved. This was complicated because let’s face it, who’s going to invest in a nursery when they know they’re about to move home!

All the advice flooding my email inbox told me that I should be buying cots, soft toys and other furnishings for a nursery and I wanted to desperately due to all my pregnancy hormones raging around. I was left fighting off the tears on more than one occasion as I knew my baby wouldn’t have the ready-made room he deserved.

I vowed that once we moved the first room to be decorated in the house was going to be his nursery…especially since it was a rather shocking shade of pink!

The day we moved was hectic for us, although I’m not sure if Cyrus noticed he had moved. The house had been empty for over a year and it needed a good old clean as a result. All the beds needed to be assembled and the carpets needed to be taken up, so we spent the first night in our new home sleeping on the sofas in the lounge. And then the next night, and the next. We lived surrounded by boxes full of non-essentials for weeks while we cleaned the house room by room, inbetween naps.

What had suddenly become important was not troubleshooting the kinks in our new house, it was spending time bonding with Cyrus, his gurgles and his smiles. He didn’t care what colour his walls were, how stylish his clothes were or if he was without a luxurious play pad. He was just happy lapping up some midlife mummy love from the comfort of his bassinet in our bedroom.

Now any woman who has been pregnant knows that decorating the baby’s room is a very special moment that takes time, preparation and quite a lot of CASH. I was like any one else in that I wanted my baby’s room to be just perfect, but being on maternity leave meant that the purse-strings were already being stretched.

We had been committed to sorting out his nursery before Christmas, but then our boiler broke down forcing us to choose between soft furnishings and solvency. We knew our outgoings and what we had coming in, but we didn’t have a buffer that would help us afford his nursery.

So since Christmas we’ve siphoned off savings into a special nursery fund. The room is clean, empty, has a fresh lick of paint and some wall stickers. Tomorrow it will have a carpet in it. A few payslips down the line we may even have a new cot and a dresser in there.

At the moment though we’re just finding our feet again and searching for nursery ideas on Pinterest.

While I certainly didn’t plan to co-sleep with my six-month-old, I’ve actually had no option in doing it. But I admit that there isn’t anything sweeter than waking up to him all cuddled up next to me. I just hope once his nursery is ready, he’ll want to sleep in it as much as we want him to.


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